The Vision for a Downtown Market

fulton-fish-market-lower-manhattanAnyone who has had the opportunity to meet and speak with Robert LaValva, president and founder of the New Amsterdam Market in Lower Manhattan, quickly realizes that at the core of Robert's being in not only the plight of ensuring the future of the South Street Seaport Historic District (check the petition) but the broader cause of ensuring the vitality of public markets as mainstay institutions, venues, gathering places, business opportunities and much more for New York City and residents and visitors alike. Over the years, through both its market events and the support of its market participants and advocates on the local and national food scene (Fleishers, the Mast Brothers, the list goes on and on), the New Amsterdam Market has breathed new life into the downtown neighborhood proving both the viability and necessity of the market. And now there's momentum to restore and transform 2 City-owned buildings into market homes once again. We encourage you to get involved, become aware and speak your part. Connect with NAMNY on Facebook or their newsletter to find out the next time and place to have your say and show your support.

Photo credit: Jennifer S. Altman, New York Times

GoLLy Goes GoLLywood

Golly-Vintage-Shirts-Chelsea-MarketIt's hard to miss the GoLLy guys when you first walk into Artists & Fleas at Chelsea Market. Keith Bishop (aka "GoLLy") and Tony Stinkmetal are carnival barkers of the new millenium, launching into their pitch about the origins of the vintage fabrics from the 1960s, 1970s & 1980s that they've re-purposed (they don't say reclaimed - that would be too bourgy) and applied to t-shirts for the modern-day dude. Their recent feature on the front page of the Sunday New York Times a week ago has been grist for the seemingly unending appetite for conversation on the intersection of things bespoke, hipster and mass market. If commerce  isn't your main bag, tonight marks the opening of GoLLywood, an installation by Keith Bishop at the East Village hang-out Pangaea. The opening runs tonight from 6-8PM and the show is up through January 1st.

A&F, Martha Stewart, Williamsburg & the Times

Artists-and-Fleas-NY-Times-GollyWho didn't wake up Sunday and hear the buzz that we were gracing the front page of the Sunday New York Times? It wasn't just the fact that Artists & Fleas was mentioned in the same breath as Martha Stewart, appliqué-making East Village artists, tattoos and colonial Williamsburg that was such a coup. The fact that this story captured some of the zeitgeist that is our community - the community of creative, independent makers, painters, artists, sewers and doers who are doing their thing on their own term - and was told through the uniquely entertaining snapshot of Tony & Keith, the dudes behind GoLLy NYC, made it all the more rewarding. Almost 10 years since we started, folks keep on remarking about the vibe and community at the market to which we always respond, it's about you, not about us. And this piece gave a little glimpse into that universe --- and some great Sunday AM reading.


Union Pool's Benefit for Hurricane Sandy Relief

Union-Pool-Hurricane-Sandy-reliefWithin minutes of Hurricane Sandy making landfall earlier this month, members of our community started to ask about the safety of members of the A&F family who called the beach their home. Meri & Vinnie, designers behind Evolving Habitat, had only recently moved their studio upstate for a change of scenery. In a bizarre twist, what they saw when they returned to Long Beach the day after Sandy was an entirely different landscape than they had left it 1 week earlier. The community of North Brooklyn has a justifiable obsession with the beach communities of Long Beach and the Rockaways. Like Williamsburg/Bushwick/Greenpoint, the beach towns have a similar vibe that embraces and exudes living life on your own terms. From Brooklyn With Love is a community effort to get out and support the thousands of individuals - friends and strangers - who have been affected by Sandy. The fine folks at Union Pool together with almost 30 other local businesses have organized an event series with the next one to be held tomorrow night at Union Pool. Come on down, grab a drink and give some. Details on their Facebook page.

Are you an Artist or a Flea?

animal-hides-art-at-Chelsea-MarketDesigner Jason Laurits of Paste got us going on this identity question last Spring when he was showcasing his incisive and insightful t-shirt line and prints at our Spring pop-up at Chelsea Market and Election Day got us thinking some more about identity and identity politics. A lot has changed in the marketplace (forgive the pun) and retail landscape of New York over the past 10 years. The idea that a picker, a maker or an urban salvager can earn a better living - both in terms of quality of life and take-home earnings - than a dot-commer at an up-and-coming company was once unthinkable. Now, it's virtually synonymous with the culture that defines this new Brooklyn.

Is Artists & Fleas an alternative flea market? A boho boutique? A pop-up shop? A Brooklyn bazaar of the post-Greenwich Village days? All and none. It depends on who is selling and who is shopping.

As Jason said in his level-headed assessment when he said: A&F is a tongue-in-cheek artist's take on an urban flea market.

Sure. Something like that. And then, it depends on the day.


Sartorial Sightings

When Daniel Martinez, scion to one of the Houston area's largest and most established vintage rag houses, first came to Brooklyn in September 2010, little would he expect to find himself fast-tracked in the world of alternative fashion design and pop-up markets. For Martinez, whose Black Cat Vintage quickly became a staple for vintage menswear lovers in Williamsburg, Artists & Fleas was the first chapter in a Tim Burtonesque take on the "how to make it in NYC" story. Martinez came to sew. And while he has built up a steady clientele for his and Gypsy Nation Vintage partner Martha Camarillo's fine finds, the launch this past Fall of his M2AF (Moth 2 A Flame) ready-to-wear line during NYFFW got a lot more buzz.

For a complete look at the line and the works in progress, visit Daniel at Artists & Fleas at Chelsea Market where he holds it down through December 31st on 10th Avenue & 15th Street.

Spotlight on DJ Turmix at Brooklyn Bowl

DJ TurmixSunday shoppers at the market know the grooves and rhythms that keep people shuffling their feet and shopping to the beats. DJ Turmix is a rare treasure on the NYC DJ scene and a guru to fans of boogaloo & Latin soul with his exquisite collection of vinyl 45s. This weekend, Williamsburg is in for a treat as DJ Turmix plays the Williamsburg Park Sharon Jones and the Dapkings & Antibalas after-party at Brooklyn Bowl on Saturday night and his usual hangover hip set at Artists & Fleas Sunday from 1-6.

Boogie down!


Shopping Night Out @ Chelsea Market

Shopping-Night-Out-at-Chelsea-Market Join us this Thursday, May 17th from 6-8PM at Artists & Fleas at Chelsea Market for our 4th Spring shopping event to bring some of the best of Brooklyn designers, stylists, hipster-makers and more together with 2 renowned Brooklyn "bests" - karaoke DJs The Kings of Karaoke and Red Hook-based Sixpoint Brewery - for an evening of sipping, singing, shopping and fun.

More event details can be found here. Open to the public so start your weekend off right with a Thursday night special.

Grand Opening: Chelsea Market Pop-Up

We return in grand fashion to Chelsea Market today. From the beginning of our days on North 6th Street in Williamsburg, our vision for the market has been so much more than merely about showcasing designers, vintage collectors and makers. It has been about creating a vibrant and vital community - an always-changing destination in the neighborhood in changing times. And now we bring it all to Manhattan. To a gem of a space bursting at the seams with energy and hipness, to a space where we bring some of brand Brooklyn to a new audience beyond the borough. It's energy, color, creativity, risk-taking, freshness, attitude.

Come into our new (second) home. Take a look around. We are sure you'll feel that you've been transported, that you'll be dazzled, that you'll be turned on. And you may even feel a little bit of Williamsburg while walking through.


Cool Kids on Kickstarter

Nice shout-out to some friends from last selling season making their Kickstarter dreams come true. The New York Times featured the campaigns of Liz & Zeph and the Snap Truck we've all been waiting for since their days serving up the finest Chicago-style dawgs this side of Lake Michigan (the avocado fries are more mighty fine, too!). Diana Rodgers witty brand Wonderthreads - a market favorite during the holidays for the genius and giftable iPad case - also got the love.

Check out their projects on ze big board that is curating cool new gigs for many.

Manhattan-Bound 2.0

It's officially official: we're bringing a bit of the best of Brooklyn back to Chelsea Market in Manhattan this Spring. We return to the wonderful space we previously occupied beneath the High Line on the corner of 10th Avenue for a combined maker's market, retail pop-up and concept shop in time for the Spring season. This time around, the curated collection of designers, artists and vintage collectors holds in store several exciting new additions to the market all built around the theme of showcasing emerging collections, makers and brands and bringing them to market. Newcomers include Om Aroma & Co., designer Cora NY, Cherry Vintage and some revamped collections for the season from notable designers Ava Hu of Ava Love, Cynthia Rybakoff, FSMNYC, NatureVsFuture and many others. Click here for a list of participants and mark your calendars for March 1st to join us for our return to Chelsea Market.